The world is so dark, that gray is the brightest color the sky achieves in a day, and the sun is hardly visible above the hills to the south when it is at its shallow apex. The air hangs heavy with rain, clouds of it driven into sheets and waves. The wind occasionally building, then sustaining, then relenting for a bit before returning and gripping the trees mercilessly again, twisting their limbs, testing the strength of their roots. The sound ever more comforting, in spite of the evidence all around that not every branch or even tree itself will withstand the next gust.
The road of crushed rock unwinds along ridges as it traces the contour of the land. Steep in places as a railroad grade could not be, but always wide enough to accommodate a 30 ton log truck in about any weather. From time to time a blocked culvert or unstable hillside will subvert the engineer, and tumble the stones of the road back into the mix of earth and roots and limbs. The logging inflicts horrendous damage upon this place, scarring the land and disabling nature itself, setting it back a century or more in a matter of days. The delicate forests destroyed by these activities will not return in the lifetime of our children, and the stands our grandparents might have found will likely never be seen again.
Here and there the evidence of the past lingers. A partially crushed can or package of something, a long extinguished fire, or the sawed off remains of a once tall tree. There a pile of twine abandoned by a brush picker, who climbed up onto these hills to make a discreet living. The language foreign to them, documentation out of reach, and many eager to exploit their willing labor. My dogs readily discover the depressions where they crouched, carefully collecting Salal for the world's flower arrangements. The canines have no trouble detecting the remnants of their presence, whereas they have grown invisible to the human eye.
A little over three years ago, I wrote about how a line of newly-planted trees along Cooper Point Rd. were broken off and killed by some crappy vandals. Later that year, the broken-off stems were cut back to the ground by maintenance workers and the grass grew up over them. Only one tree survived – the workers bent it back up and splinted the break. It’s made a full recovery.
Each year for the next two springs, the trees would sprout back from their roots. And every year, school district maintenance workers would mow them down. It was bad enough to have seen the original crime, but to see those little trees struggle back each year, only to be mowed back to roots only because it was easier than seeing the trees and helping them to recover, was even harder.
So it was heartening to see, this spring, that someone had staked a couple of the returning sprouts (the third year they’d returned from their roots). And even more heartening to see that the maintenance workers, while doing their annual mowing, observed the stakes and mowed around each of the sprouts. There are now a bunch of little survivors to join the original survivor.
Is it just me, or are we getting better foliage this year?
Seems like our recent nice weather (well, before the last few days) might have brightened things up:
Dry weather concentrates sugar in the cell sap, which speeds up manufacture of red compounds. So the most colorful autumns depend on the weather. Dry, sunny days of an Indian summer that are followed by cool, dry nights will create the best season for the fall leaf show. You can predict good viewing if you analyze the weather conditions.
The City of Olympia invites local artists to apply for a project to design tree guards on Olympia’s West side. The City will commission one local artist to design a suite of five visually or conceptually related vertical tree guards at the intersection of Black Lake Boulevard and Harrison Avenue, for the functional purpose of protecting trees and supporting locked bikes as well as adding an aesthetic amenity to West Olympia. Fabrication of the tree guards will be undertaken by the South Puget Sound Community College Welding Program, with consultation from the artist.
For a prospectus, visit www.olympiawa.gov/cityservices/par or call Stephanie Johnson, Arts & Events Manager at 709-2678.
(Olympia, WA) Olympia residents and City officials will plant the city green on Saturday, March 29. ONE THOUSAND (1000!) trees will sprout along Olympia’s streets and walkways in the morning. A community celebration will be held in the afternoon at the Olympia Timberland Library.
“With our innovative NeighborWoods program and in-house tree nursery, Olympia is a national leader in municipal urban forestry,” says Olympia Mayor Doug Mah. “The community enthusiasm for our 1000 Trees in One Day event has been fantastic. As of today, over 500 community volunteers have stepped forward to help, and locations for over 1,000 new trees have been identified,” says Mah.
Anyone familiar with the lot set to be developed at Cooper Point Drive and Evergreen Park Drive SW (just off 101)? It is a 10+ acre plot that the Chevron station sits in front off. I am curious to see how many of those large trees they will remove. I hope to contact someone with the City to get an idea. I am sure it is to late too to try and save the area. It would be a shame if they remove all the trees.
I will however take a few photos of the lot to post here. Hopefully the before and afters won't be too dramatic...